Don Robert McEachern, Lt. Col.

November 20, 1924January 23, 2013

Lieutenant Colonel Don Robert McEachern went peacefully to be with his Lord and Savior on Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013, in Nashville, TN after a period of declining strength and health which he endured with patience and humor. The span of his earthly pilgrimage was 88 years, two months and three days. The only son of Don and Mayhoward Austin McEachern of Jacksonville, Florida, Col. McEachern married Bette Whitehurst on New Year’s Day in 1948. He bravely served his country as a Marine Corps pilot in the Korean War, during which time he was awarded numerous medals, including the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Purple Heart. After graduating from the University of Florida with a degree in mechanical engineering, he became a loyal employee of E. I. DuPont de Nemours Co. in South Carolina and in Old Hickory, Tennessee. Col. McEachern faithfully served the Lord as a founding elder of Hickory Grove Church in Mt. Juliet, TN and as a founding member of the Rafiki Foundation, a mission organization devoted to meeting the needs of widows and orphans in Africa. Col. McEachern was a steadfast servant to his family, and his concern for their welfare was voiced again in his final days. He was a loving brother, husband, father, grandfather and great-father, and an example to all in his church and community. His strength of character, his humility, and his gentle, generous heart will be missed. Survivors include wife Bette, of the home; daughters, Beverly Coffey and son in-law Gary, of Nashville, TN, Barbara McLaughlin and son in-law Chip, of Prescott, AZ, Bonnie Lloyd and son in-law Kevin, of Philadelphia, PA; son, Don McEachern, Jr. and daughter in-law Christi, of Mt. Juliet, TN; grandchildren, Kirsten, Aaron, Taylor, Katherine, Dylan, Grace, Reynolds, Molly, and Tripp; great-grandson, Caden; sisters, Jeanne Thune, Candi Ray, Rosemary Jensen, Cecil Young, and Austin Brayfield; 18 nieces and nephews. “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them” (Revelation 14:13). Services are with Middle Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery located at 7931 McCrory Lane Nashville, TN 37221 on Monday January 28, 2013 at 11:00 AM. Visitation will be with Hibbett & Hailey Funeral Home located at 429 Donelson Pike Nashville, TN 37214 on Sunday January 27, 2013 from 4:00 PM – 8:00PM. In lieu of flowers Memorial Contributions can be made to Rafiki Foundation or Hickory Grove PCA, HIBBETT & HAILEY FUNERAL HOME, 429 Donelson Pike, Nashville, TN 37214, (615) 883-2361


  • Visitation Sunday, January 27, 2013
  • Graveside Service Monday, January 28, 2013

Don Robert McEachern, Lt. Col.

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April 10, 2013

Dearest Austin, So sorry to hear of Don's passing! I enjoyed meeting him in Ashland, and will always remember that cold morning when he and I took to the lake with your neighbor to fish from his boat. The fog lifted slowly and gloriously and magic happened in that boat that morning. Though we caught a few fish it was the event itself that was so propelling!! I know he is smiling now and wishes the same joy for all who loved him. Please write when you can. Sincerely, Jymmi Sparkz on FB or on e-mail at
Hugs to you and your family, Jymmi Sparkz

Roy Poston

January 29, 2013

Don and Betty are members of the same church I go to. Somewhere in those years, talk of Rafiki came up. Later, our family took on sponsoring some boys in Zambia. As I learned more about Rafiki, I began to learn about AIM (Africa Inland Mission) . AIM has an old DC3 which was converted from the old radial engines to turboshaft engines. Interesting. I was stunned, later to learn that there was a guy in our church who has flown that DC3 many times – in Aftrica. Don McEachern. Somewhere in all of that, I also learned that his sister, Rosemary, started Rafiki. I decided that I wanted to know Don more. I learned that he has flown many, many fighter aircraft. I learned of his service to our country, and that he had been in the US Marine Corp. Don always seemed to conduct himself very honorable way. I value the short times that I have had getting to know him.

Gary Howell

January 28, 2013

My sympathy to the family. Don was always quick with a smile and a wave in the driveway and willing to stop and chat with me. He was a fine man and a good neighbor. May he rest in peace.

Anya Siddiqi

January 28, 2013

I don't think I ever exchanged even a few words with Don, but I always noticed him when I was at the Sunday service usually during the summers. I'd look and be comforted by seeing such a steadfast warrior of the Lord who glowed with the peace and holiness of the Lord. May the Lord soften the sadness of the family and sharpen the anticipation of seeing him again on the day when all tears are wiped away.

January 26, 2013

So sorry to hear of your loss of your father. God bless and be with you in your time of loss. Jim Wolfe

Kathy Rychen

January 26, 2013

I am very saddened by the passing of your love one. Don was a very special friend of mine and I will always remember him. There's nothing I can say to help ease the pain, but as least I can share in your sadness. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with all of your family during this sad time.

Kathy Rychen

Suzanne Allen

January 26, 2013

Please accept my deepest sympathies. Hard to see our loved ones leave us here on earth. Will be praying for you all for comfort and peace.